Month: May 2010

The new North Carolina Museum of Art

So, two summers ago I interned for the curatorial department of the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA).  The internship was wonderful as I had two friendly, open supervisors and some excellent fellow-interns.  I also had a great view of the construction site of the new West Building from my little desk in the library.  The wall was all windows, so I looked out onto red clay and cranes and concrete and fiberglass.  The place was a mess, but I knew that by Spring of 2010 the red clay and bare walls would be transformed into the new NCMA campus.

And on Sunday April 26th, I was able to join the people of North Carolina in visiting this verdant, sculpture-filled accomplishment.

The NCMA is now composed of two buildings: the old East building, which will house temporary exhibitions and museum offices, and the new West building, which houses the permanent collection.  The opening weekend was worth braving the crowds: site-specific dance, arts and craft activities, various musical acts and food trucks(!) made it super fun.

So, the new building.  It is large, and white, and sort of ware-housey, but extremely bright and spacious and full of natural light, which I love.  I wish I could speak more as to how I felt the art looked, but I was really distracted by all the people and all the site specific dancers and all the commotion and excitement!

There were some amazing contemporary pieces commissioned for the new space:

El Anatsui, Lines that Link Humanity
Jaume Plensa, Doors of Jerusalem, with site specific dancer below
Roxy Paine, Askew
Ursula von Rydingsvard's Ogromna with a site specific dancer.

As you can see, some of these beautiful pieces are outdoors!  Here are a few more, including some Rodin from a giant gift given by a generous donor.

Look, more site specific dancers
In case you can't tell, the site specific dancers fascinated me
Rodin, and odd looking museum employee
Rodin courtyard!

So those pretty garden/courtyards are interspersed through the “modules” of the West building, they are lovely and walkable.

Some other art that I liked:

Yinka Shonibare! On Stilts!
Mona Lisa made from spools of thread.
Cat-rats going after fish, this is detail from a big Dutch still life.
Torah Torah Torah!
A collage of photographs of North Carolina
Leaving the museum, so green, so green...

Some burgers were had, as well, from the Only Burger truck.  Amazing burgers, mine had an egg, pimento cheese, and a fried green tomato.  I should have taken a picture, but I was too busy eating.  And catching up with my supervisor-curator-friend Kinsey Katchka. The East building had some Mahler symphony happening as well, which we heard in snippets while wandering around looking at light installations and a dismantled drum kit.

So, that was a fun day.  I need to go back to the museum when there are fewer people so I can actually judge whether or not the West building is a success, but it was fun to be a part of the scene.  Yay NCMA.

Pan-ethnic food adventures

Multi-cultural adventures in food, commence!

Lately Jon and I have been obsessed with these chicken meatballs we found on  I can’t remember ever making meatballs with my family, and my vision of meatballs has always involved some sort of swimming-in-sauce, but these meatballs are none of that.  They are, despite a healthy dose of pancetta, light (well, as light as meatballs can be), and not smothered in sauce.  Ground chicken, pancetta and sauteed onions, parsley, some breadcrumbs, all topped with a light tomato sauce and served with some excellent pepperonata (we like to chop ours up in a food processor a bit, just to make it chunky).  Serve it with some garlic bread and you have an awesome dinner.

Mm, delicious meat-a-balls.

Last night was Cinco de Mayo, which isn’t a holiday I ever get behind because I am far too snobby to partake in these Americanized Ethnic Drinking Holidays.  Yes, I am that girl who sneers at St. Patrick’s Day, go ahead and hate me.  I do, however, love me some Mexican food, so Jon and I decided to celebrate Cinco de Drinko with some pan-fried fish tacos–panko-breaded mahi-mahi in a white sauce with some lettuce and radishes, totally yummy.  We made some guacamole to round out the meal as well.

Mm, pan-frying some panko-breaded mahi-mahi awesome

The finished product

So, those were delicious as well.  Tonight I made Giada de Laurentiis’ recipe for raspberry ricotta mousse–no picture, because it basically looks like pinky-purple pudding.  The taste is fantastic, light and airy and perfect for today’s ridiculous 90 degree weather, but I am trying to figure out how to lessen the gritty ricotta texture.  Maybe more time in the food processor?  Who knows.

My failures as a blogger

Hi friends.

So remember last summer, when I was in NYC, and I posted on a regular basis and my life was way more fascinating?  Well, that all sort of stopped so, sorry about that.

But I guess life should be fascinating all the time, not just when you are living in New York City and interning at the Whitney Museum of American Art.  So I am going to attempt to find the interesting in the everyday.  Please forgive the cheesy Hallmark Card sentiment.

Okay, so, what have I been doing?  Well, I still work here, but I’m also working on changing that.

I’m watching a lot of this:

That’s Deep Space 9, just in case you are wondering.  The station, built by Cardassians and formerly called Terak Nor, hangs out in space near the planet of Bajor, in a guardsman position to the Wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant.

In layman’s terms, this is a Star Trek series, and probably my favorite.  Deep Space 9, being a stationary series as opposed to an explore-the-galaxy series, enables sweeping and epic storylines about religion and faith and prophecy and war and genocide and other mega-themes.  It also stars this sexy man:

That’s Benjamin Sisko, played by Avery Brooks.  He’s the commanding officer type on the series.  He’s also the Emissary to the Prophets.  If you want to know what that means, you should watch the show.

I’m eating some too.  I’m making a lot of this chopped caprese salad from Smitten Kitchen, because it is fresh and easy.  Tonight some chicken meatballs might happen.  Lately there have been a lot of salads, also.  I’ll post as things become exciting.

Oh, also, I went to Mama Dip’s on Saturday night, but since it was a last-minute trip I had no camera.  I got fried green tomatoes, which were excellent and had a corn mealy crust.  I had fried chicken, also reliably good, some better-than-average macaroni and cheese and some decent cole slaw.  I’m sure that at one point this restaurant was awesome and soul foody, but I guess it has gone downhill since Rachel Ray or whomever discovered it.  Also, I rarely eat fried food, so it always leaves me feeling heavy and gross.  Probably won’t go again, but I can finally say that I went, and it was fun to break cornbread with friends who I hadn’t seen in awhile.

I have done some other things as well, such as visit New York City and check out the new North Carolina Museum of Art.  I’ll post on those later, just to keep y’all reading.

Okay, this is my endeavor to get back to it.  Let us hope it keeps working.